Five Questions for Christopher Hampson on Scottish Ballet’s Future plans…
So how are you finding directing a company – what’s good about the job… and what’s not!?
I’m really enjoying the job. I feel like I’ve been doing it, in microcosm, for some time as a choreographer, coach and ballet master, but helicoptering in just for a short while. Now I’m building in one place and that’s good. No downsides discovered yet, but I do get a lot more email these days!
Hansel and Gretel sounds a great way to realise a Christmas ballet and involve the audience and young people of Scotland. How did you come to dream up such a different approach?
I’ve had the idea of creating a danced version of Hansel & Gretel for quite a number of years. I love the score and the story is both scary and magical at the same time. Always a good combination.
I’m often asked where I begin in creating a new full-length work and so I had the idea to give an insight into what goes into making a new work and to share that with as many people as possible. I’m so fortunate that Scottish Ballet has such an excellent Education and Outreach Team. Once I’d met with them I knew that this was the right company to do this work, in this particular way.
Although full details are not out you are pushing the work of female choreographers – where does that spring from?
The choreographers I’m engaging are all people that I believe have a strong and unique choreographic voice. The fact that many of them are female is a coincidence, but I’m happy to see that the playing field is levelling regarding the ratio of male to female choreographers. Though, there’s still some way to go.
Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling is rather a cheeky take on Scotland – are you braced for some flack!?
One of the many talents that Matthew has is creating works that speak fluently to an audience with humour, honesty and emotion. What’s not to like?
New to Glasgow I think – what’s been the revelation in living there?
Well, not that new. I’ve been coming here all my life (my mother is from Gourock… up the Clyde). But, I’m having a great time getting to know the city again. And just to blow some myths out of the water… There are some fabulous restaurants up here serving good Scottish food, a plethora of funky bars and not forgetting the chatty cab drivers. A quick story… When I moved up I caught a cab from John Lewis back to my apartment. My hands were full with bed linen, pillows and a duvet and about five minutes into the journey the cabbie said, “So, you got the job then?”. Turns out he’d driven me to Scottish Ballet when I interviewed for the job last year!